By Palma Ileye
Executive Director, Leventis Foundation Nigeria, LFN, Dr Hope Ovie Usieta, has revealed that in the 34 years of the Foundation’s existence, it had been able to train over 29,000 Nigerian youths in different aspects of Agriculture.
Usieta made the disclosure during his remarks at the 2022 Agricultural Youth Summit, AYS, organised by the Foundation in Abuja.
He said, “You may be aware that Leventis Foundation is a formal organisation dedicated to sustainable agricultural training and youth development through the training we offer to youths and farmers across Nigeria. In our 34 years of existence, we have trained more than 29,000 youths in different aspects of agriculture.
“At Leventis Foundation Nigeria, our strategy has been to present youth and farmers with opportunities and innovations to improve their standard of living through practices that increase incomes and opportunities to scale their businesses.”
Welcoming the invited participants who were largely youths, including the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, members, to the second edition of the programme, after the one hosted in 2020, the Executive Director explained that Agricultural Youth Summit was designed to synthesise solutions and strengthen the agricultural sector.
He acknowledged that despite the interventions in the agricultural sector, “there’s no doubt that challenges still remain. Hence the need to do more to advance solutions”, expressing the belief that the summit would advance the desired solutions as the theme of the summit which is: Devising Sustainable Solutions for Economic Growth Through Increased Participation in Agribusiness” indicates.
Recognising the contributions of development partners, Usieta said, “And for other activities lined up such as the grant winning opportunities for youth owned businesses, I’m looking forward to that. So profound appreciation goes to our partners, the Bank of Industry, ECO Insurance Brokers, the Netherlands agri business commission for supporting the grand competition as well as the Nigerian Bottling Company for providing refreshments for these events.”
He also used the opportunity to commend LFS partnership with the NYSC through its skill acquisition and entrepreneurship department “because it has availed us the opportunity to reach out to more youths to this partnership. We have trained 40 Corps members who have undergone agribusiness training and internship across LFN schools”.
In his remarks, the Director General ,DG, NYSC, Brigadier General Muhammad Kaku Fadah, who was represented by the Director, Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Division, SAED, Hajiya Walida Sadique, appreciated LFN for empowering 40 corps members in its last training cycle while soliciting for increase in the number of beneficiaries so that more corps members could be accommodated in the one year agricultural training programme.
“I use this unique opportunity to once again thank you for providing the opportunity for 40 corps members to access one year agric business training and empowerment at your farm settlements across country free of charge as contained in our MoU.
“I know that the programme is a manifestation of your commitment to youth empowerment and its benefits will be enormous not only to the corps members, but also agric business in Nigeria in general.
“We honestly look forward to the commencement of training for The next set of corps members while also hoping that the number of beneficiaries would be increased,” he said.
Also some youth Corps members expressed gratitude and promised to make good use of the opportunities avail to the by the Leventis Foundation Nigeria.